So I adopted a a baby hedgehog about a month ago and I was told he will be a year old on August 30th. He's been losing his quills like crazy this past week. Is that normal? In the last 10 minutes he's dropped about 12 in his shirt I have him wrapped in.
Wait, so you adopted a baby but then you were told he's almost a year old?
Hedgehogs go through a quilling phase around a year old as well. However, I'm not sure if they typically lose that many quills during the one year quilling ... have you checked for other possible factors, like mites, or overly dry skin? That just seems like a lot of quills to lose in ten minutes (but I'm not 100% sure since my girl is only six months). Hopefully someone with an older hedgie can help too.
Okay so my Casper isn't quite one yet (Aug 30th). He's losing quills but I'm alarmed that it's more than he should be for his One year quilling. I want to take him to the vet. I think it might be dry skin. I'm just wondering if there's something at home i can try for dry skin for a few days to see if that works and if it doesn't I'll take him to the vet for a skin check ASAP.
Also wondering how much the average vet check costs for hedgies to get checks for mites etc...
There are some home remedies you can try, like an oatmeal bath. You can either buy oatmeal wash, like Aveeno baby products, or use plain oats (put a handful in a sock and swish it around the water - it will get cloudy). Some people also put a few drops of olive oil in their rinse water for extra dry skin.
Flax seed oil on the food is a popular remedy for dry skin as well. You can buy the gel capsules and sprinkle a tiny bit on your hedgie's food a few times a week.
Some owners also use a topical spray, such as Humilac. You can get it on Amazon.
I would try the oatmeal bath first, then see how his skin looks after that. Good luck!
So we bathed tonight and I noticed his skin was dry. He's not scratching. Attached is a picture of the amount of quills he lost just from his quick bath tonight. I called around to vets and the vets here in London all sedate Hedgies to do skin tests and check for mites. Since the bath, I towel dried him and his skin looks a million times better and doesn't look anything like it did before the bath but the weird part is I bath Casper at least once a week to avoid him smelling like urine and feces. When we do a full cage clean out of everything and scrub the cage out I give him a full bath. Advice?
Bathing him once a week may actually be what is drying his skin out! It's kind of the same as humans, if you shower and wash your hair and body everyday you strip natural oils and throw your balance off.
You might want to try lessening the full baths to once every two weeks, or even less?
I just do Benny's feet every other-ish day depending on need in plain warm water, and a full bath at 3-4 weeks. I also started using flax seed oil on his food and dry ear edges and it seems to work!
Where I take Olive is $60 for the visit $45 for the sedation, $103 for the entire panel of blood tests, and $35 for the fecal sample tests. I haven't had to get a skin test done but I am guessing it would be in the $30-$50 dollar range.... Maybe it's just me but $100 just for the exam seems extreme to me
If he isn't scratching it's not likely to be mites. So I wouldn't worry about having him tested.
I do think its a bit crazy that they sedate hedgehogs just to do a skin test!
Frequent baths can cause dry skin, as mentioned above. I bathe my hedgies about once a month and they don't smell.
I was holding him this morning and just in the hour he laid on the towel infront of me he lost another 32 quills. I'm going to have to wait until my moms home from work to find her oatmeal to try the suggestion of an oatmeal bath. I don't dare touch moms baking stuff. I also noticed when I hold him the cloth/towel which I always make sure is newly cleaned with an unscented laundry soap and I notice when I put him back in his cage after holding him that there's all kinds of white dry flakes of skin on the towel. His flakes. Poor guy.
Just out of curiosity here guys but Casper was a rescue, his original owner had either one or two toddlers and was due to pop out a new baby any day when I went and got him. She said Casper spent his days in his cage because she was too busy with the kids and couldn't give any bonding time to him. He didn't even have a wheel and had no clue what a meal worm was. So I was VERY glad to rescue him.. Now with that being said, I'm on the Ontario Disability Support Program which means I'm on a very VERY fixed limited income. I also have a 4 1/2 year old. So the money I do get is pretty much gone the second I cash the cheque.
So is there any type of help or assistance I may be eligible for or can apply for, for assistance to help ensure that Casper gets the vet check ups, skin scraping tests etc... If someone could let me know it would be so greatly appreciated.
I can't imagine what could be stressing him out if anything at all. His cage is off to the side in the dining room which there's barely anyone walking through led alone eating in, it's just my mom and her boyfriend usually. My mom spoils Casper and makes sure he eats healthy and has his veggies and treats like meal worms and stuff. Nothing bothers him.
I think it's just dry skin from being bathed often because he pees on his wheel and then runs through it and sometimes it's like he's running through a rain forest and he stinks so bad so in order to be able to tolerate holding him and not needing a clothes pin to plug my nose or to keep gasping for air to stop from gagging I HAVE to bath him. Like I said I usually bath him when we do a full cage wash out and we scrub everything in his cage down and put all new bedding and such down.
Oh and as for getting donations or assistance there is one Vet that lowers their prices like crazy for geared to income or low income families but nine of their doctors that work their specialize in working on or treating hedgehogs. The ones that do they say they are specialists because hedgehogs are not a common creature to own as a pet around here.
Maybe instead of doing a full bath with quills wet and all, you could just do a little oatmealy water (low level in the sink) and do a foot and belly bath every week or few days? Not enough to just his quil line, but enough to rinse his belly hair and feet which would be the stuff in contact with the pee and poop the most. Then just drain it and put some clear water in to let him walk around and rinse off his belly and toes! That way you get rid of some of the smelly, but you're not unnecessarily drying his skin out to the point he's at now.
Plus, he is an animal and will have a lil smell y'know? He's not a human with pretty smelling shampoo and hair! Benny never smells so bad I need to plug my nose and I regularly have to clean poopy and pee covered feet!
Man that boy must be flying to get that dirty. :lol:
I wish I had more advice for a smelly hedgie. I like using oatmeal because it cleans them and I think it smells nice. But my hedgehogs never stink like that so I'm not sure if that would work. Maybe just a foot bath every day or every other day and then wiping his quills down with a baby wipe or wet paper towel?
Yeah I feel bad for my mom because her computer desk is right beside Casper's cage and hen I sit at it once in awhile oh my goodness you can smell the pee, and I notice once in awhile the pee sitting on his wheel and its not just a little bit, it's about a tablespoon maybe a tablespoon and a half of urine. So I just did an oatmeal bath. The dry skin i right on top of him towards his butt area but on top. So doing a foot and belly rinse wont help the dry skin on the back..
Thanks for the advice though, I'll see how the oatmeal bath goes, and I'm gonna go look at oatmeal Aveeno stuff but because he doesn't like to put his quills down yet the only way to apply that stuff would likely be with a tooth brush.
When I do oatmeal baths (which is once a week) I fill the sink a little and add the aveno baby, then I made an extra cup of baby warm water and add oatmeal and a couple drops of vitamin e oil and wash her feet and give her a little scrub...then rinse her with the oat meal. I wouldn't use a tooth brush if he is loosing so many quills you might hurt him...So I would just scrub his feet then pour the oatmeal water over his back.
Maybe you could try tilting the wheel so a little bit of the urine runs off and onto the litter pan. Some hedgies are weird about that though, and won't run on a tilted wheel. But it doesn't hurt to try. Also, my girl often gets poopy feet so I always have an extra piece of paper towel outside the litter pan too, as sort of a feet "mat" so her feet don't get so poopy. Hopefully that helps
He has no problems with poopy paws at all he's actually pretty clean. Same for his urine, I already keep his wheel on a bit of an angle so that his urine runs off because I was noticing there were a few times when he would go a lot and there was a couple teaspoons worth just sitting there on his wheel. It was just the other day my mom washed his wheel and didn't out it in right so the urine gathered again. He was acting weird yesterday, he slept all day and I put all fresh food and even put a few treats in his dish for him when he got up for his nightly shananagians and I woke up at almost 2am when he's usually up doing his laps and he was still curled up in his igloo so I woke him to check on him, and he walked around and then he went to his water bottle and starting to drink and then started to nudge the end of the spout which seems to be his way of letting me know he wants cold water, so I gave him cold water and he sat there drinking and for the first time since I've owned him he actually let me gentle rub his top quills without curling up and hissing he completely stayed out drinking and walked over to his food and treats letting me pet him and not even hissing so I think he's really coming around with me because again today when it was just me near his cage and I went to go check on him and pet him he didn't hiss or give me the attitude I usually get.
Oh sorry about the rambling but as for the bathing, I did an oatmeal bath the other night but I'm wondering how often I should do it. Since I've done it his skin still looks dry but he's not losing nearly as many quills, intact he's only lost MAYBE 6 or 7 since that bath TOTAL which is really really good. My poor baby.